WeWork Doubled its Losses in 2018 Due to Global Property Purchases

27 March 2019 – Eje Prime

The US co-working company WeWork doubled its losses in 2018 to USD 1.9 billion (€1.7 billion), due to the huge outlay it made expanding its business around the world. Nevertheless, it did also double its revenues to USD 1.8 billion (€1.6 billion).

The company founded by Adam Neumann in 2010 closed 2018 with shared offices in more than 100 countries as well as rental contracts with several major corporates, such as Microsoft, Adidas and Citigroup, which account for one third of its tenants.

The valuation of the company, which leases space to 401,000 people globally, amounts to USD 47 billion. In Spain, the company has five spaces in Barcelona and four in Madrid, with new openings imminent.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Lone Star Exits Neinor after Selling its 12.5% Stake for €174M

11 January 2018 – Expansión

Following this operation, the stake owned by the US fund in the property developer, which was its largest shareholder before its stock market debut, will be reduced to a token 0.4%.

Lone Star is folding up the sails in Neinor Homes, whose share capital it is almost completely exiting less than a year after the property developer’s debut on the stock market, which took place in March last year. The US fund has undertaken an accelerated placement of 9.85 million shares in Neinor, representing 12.5% of that firm’s share capital, amongst institutional investors.

Yesterday, the property developer closed trading at €18.04 per share after a decrease of 1.1%, which means that the package put up for sale was worth €177.8 million.

Nevertheless, today, Neinor has informed the National Securities and Exchange Commission (CNMV) that the price at which the placement was closed was €173.99 million, equivalent to €17.65 per share.

After completing this operation, Lone Star’s presence in Neinor, the company that it controlled 100% prior to the property developer’s debut on the stock market, will be reduced to a token 0.4%, equivalent to 350,918 shares that it is retaining to ensure that it agrees the conditions of an incentive plan for “certain directors and key employees”.

With the sale of this latest package, Lone Star is culminating a divestment process that it began in March last year with Neinor’s stock market debut, when the American fund placed 60% of the property developer’s shares on the market, for which it received revenues of around €800 million.

A few months later, in the middle of September, Lone Star divested another 27% of Neinor, receiving proceeds on that occasion of €394.6 million and obtaining profits of €166 million as a result.

Following the accelerated placement completed yesterday and entrusted to BNP Paribas, Citigroup, Credit Suisse and JP Morgan, the resources raised by the US fund from the sale of Neinor now exceed €1.37 billion in total.

Neinor, whose origins date back to 2015, when Lone Star acquired Kutxabank’s real estate assets, debuted on the stock market with a valuation of €1.34 billion. Currently, its market capitalisation amounts to €1.425 billion, up by 6.3% from that figure.

Neinor’s main shareholders include the investment firms Wellington, with an 8.5% stake; Fidelity, with around 6.8%; and Invesco, with 5%, according to the CNMV’s registers.

Original story: Expansión (by J. Díaz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Record Financing Deal: Testa Raises €0.8bn From 16 Banks

15 December 2017 – El Confidencial

Testa has managed to close new financing amounting to €0.8 billion and, in a move that has made the deal remarkable, has not had to use any of its buildings as collateral.

As El Confidencial revealed, the entity in which Santander, BBVA, Merlin and Acciona hold stakes, was negotiating to refinance all of its debt so as to be well positioned to make its debut on the stock market and to have a sizeable sum to make new purchases.

In the end, according to financial sources, the Socimi has obtained the backing of 16 financial entities for the largest unsecured loan ever granted to a company in this sector in Spain. The new loan will be structured in three tranches, whose maturity dates will range between two and five years.

The first, amounting to €0.35 billion, is a bullet loan, which will be repaid in its entirety upon maturity, in December 2022; the second, for the same amount, is a 2-year bridge loan, which the company plans to refinance with a bond; and the third, a line of credit amounting to €0.1 billion has a mortgage guarantee over five years.

The entities that have participated in this financing are Banco Sabadell, Santander, Barclays, BNP Paribas, Caixabank, Citigroup, Credit Agricole, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, ING, JP Morgan, Mediobanca, Natixis and Société Générale.

Following this agreement, Testa’s leverage ratio has increased from 15% to just under 35% and all of its debt is now corporate.

The Socimi is working with a view to making its debut on the main stock market in the spring. It will make that move with a portfolio comprising 9,219 homes dedicated exclusively to rent, spread over 111 buildings and worth almost €2.2 billion.

Nevertheless, thanks to the signing of this new financing, the Socimi now has fresh money to take on new acquisitions before its stock market debut, in line with the purchase that it announced in September of 135 homes from BuildingCenter, the real estate subsidiary of CaixaBank.

65% of Testa’s portfolio is located in Madrid, San Sebastían accounts for 7%, Barcelona 5%, Valencia 4%, Mallorca 3% and other locations the remaining 15%.

Original story: El Confidencial (by Ruth Ugalde)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Aedas Homes Will Make Its Stock Market Debut Before Year End

25 September 2017 – Expansión

A new real estate company will debut on the stock market before the end of the year. On Friday, the property developer Aedas Homes confirmed its intention to debut on the stock market during the fourth quarter of the year.

The company, which specialises in the construction of homes, has not revealed the price at which the placement of its shares will take place. Nevertheless, market sources forecast that its market capitalisation will be higher than its Gross Asset Value, estimated at €1,345.8 million.

Aedas Homes was created by the US fund Castlelake, after that firm invested several hundreds of millions of euros in buildable residential land in Spain. After creating a portfolio containing 1.3 million m2 of buildable land, worth €1,000 million, Castlelake turned to the team at the Socimi Merlin Properties to design a business plan that would allow it to maximise the returns on its investments. For this project, the fund recruited David Martínez, a director with experience in real estate developments, such as Valdebebas and Castellana Norte, both in Madrid.

Castlelake’s intention is to place between 40% and 60% of the company’s shares on the stock market, through a primary offer and then a secondary offer amongst qualifying investors. The primary offer is expected to raise funds amounting to approximately €100 million.


“The stock market debut of Aedas Homes will allow us to access funds from a diversified base of investors, which will be used to finance the company’s expansion and development plans”, explains David Martínez, CEO of the property developer. Citigroup and Goldman Sachs are acting as the global coordinating entities of the placement; Banco Santander and UBS as the joint bookrunners; BBVA, CaixaBank and Sabadell are the co-lead managers; and Deloitte is the financial advisor.

Currently, Aedas owns a portfolio of land worth €1,370.5 million, distributed across sight Spanish provinces – including Madrid, Barcelona, Málaga and Valencia–, which will allow it to build more than 13,000 homes. These magnitudes place it amongst the top four property developers in Spain. The company is currently working on 11 projects, involving 576 homes. Its business plan forecasts the investment of between €200 million and €250 million on new acquisitions over the next 2.5 years to deliver 3,000 homes per year from 2022 onwards.

With this move, Castlelake is following in the footsteps of Lone Star, which was the first international fund to list its company, Neinor Homes, on the stock market, after investing in assets in the Spanish market.

The debut of Lone Star’s real estate company took place in March, with a valuation of €1,340 million. Since then, the company has appreciated in value and its market capitalisation now exceeds €1,420 million. Lone Star placed 60% of its company’s share capital in the stock market debut. Last week, it divested another 27%, to raise €394 million. On Monday, the fund Wellington acquired an 8.5% stake.

Original story: Expansión (by R. Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Santander Engages Morgan Stanley To Execute Express Sale Of Popular’s Property

29 June 2017 – Voz Pópuli

Banco Santander does not want to waste any time with its sale of Popular’s properties. The entity chaired by Ana Botín has engaged Morgan Stanley to execute an express plan to get rid of the problem assets that it has inherited from its subsidiary, according to financial sources consulted by Vozpópuli. Sources at Santander declined to comment.

According to the same sources, the mandate does not outline the sale of specific assets, but rather it defines which would be the best solution: the rapid transfer of assets in large batches; the reactivation of Ángel Ron’s old idea of creating a bad bank (Project Sunrise); the transfer of assets to Testa and Metrovacesa; or taking things more slowly to benefit from the economic recovery.

It is about putting the real estate balance sheet in order and defining the best path for each asset type. But Morgan Stanley’s work, which is being led by its CEO, Juan González Pedrol, will not focus only on resolving Popular’s existing property puzzle. It is also meeting investors to get them to analyse assets and prepare bids.

The fact that Santander has already committed to a mandate of this calibre shows that it is not afraid of reducing the volume of problem assets, which amount to almost €50,000 million after the merger. That is something that investors would penalise in the event that those assets stagnated on the bank’s balance sheet. In that context, a few weeks ago, Botín committed to cutting Popular’s real estate exposure in half by 2019.

The person responsible for this task at Santander is Javier García Carranza, Deputy General Manager of the group and Head of Restructuring, Real Estate, Investments and Venture Capital. García Carranza joined Santander from Morgan Stanley, where he used to be responsible for Real Estate in London.

The mandate given to his former entity is one of the most sought-after in the investment banking sector, alongside the capital increase, from which Morgan Stanley has been ruled out. Names still in the running for that €7,000 million-operation include Citigroup and UBS, as global coordinators, and Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Barclays, BBVA, HSBC and CaixaBank, according to Bloomberg (…).

Saracho’s plan suspended

One of the first measures introduced by Santander after it took control of Popular was to suspend the operations that Saracho’s team had set in motion. The former management team had at least two portfolios on the market (…).

Sources in the market expect Santander and Morgan Stanley to bring a large portfolio onto the market before the end of the year, given that there is a lot of demand from large international funds. The clean-up conducted during the merger, of almost €8,000 million, means that the group is ready for these operations.

Following the merger, Santander has accumulated problem assets amounting to €48,417 million, according to the latest official figures. Of those, €36,800 million come from Popular, with a coverage after extraordinary provisions of 66%, and €11,600 million from Santander, which before the merger held a coverage of 57%. That means that the new Santander-Popular entity has more assets than Sareb.

In addition, the group holds other investments, such as its stakes in Metrovacesa, Sareb and Testa Residencial, which, in the case of Santander alone, amount to €5,300 million.

Original story: Voz Pópuli (by Jorge Zuloaga)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Axiare Raises €93M Through Accelerated Capital Increase

10 March 2017 – Expansión

Axiare has completed a capital increase amounting to €93 million, through the accelerated placement of 7.18 million new shares, which represent almost 10% of its share capital.

The operation was performed at an issue price of €13 per share, which represents a discount of 2.6% on the market price at the end of trading on Tuesday. Axiare’s share price fell by 1.27% on Wednesday to €13.18 per share.

The company has said that it will use the funds raised to continue investing. Axiare has identified investment opportunities amounting to more than €1,100 million, of which deals amounting to €400 million are in “advanced stages of execution”.

“The placement has been performed amongst a solid base of qualifying investors and international institutions, including current shareholders as well as new investors. This has allowed Axiare to diversify its shareholder base, improve its free float and increase the liquidity of its shares.

Currently, Axiare’s largest shareholder is Colonial, with a 15% stake, followed by T.Rowe Price (9.7%) and Citigroup (9.2%). Following this operation, those shareholders may see a dilution in their stakes.

Original story: Expansión (by R.Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Room Mate Prepares To Enter Holiday Hotel Segment

18 October 2016 – Expansión

Room Mate Hotels, the hotel chain chaired by Enrique Sarasola (pictured above), is preparing to enter the vacation hotel segment and has set itself the goal of having 2,000 rooms in a number of hotels along the coast by 2020.

Specifically, the group founded in 2005, which already has a presence in twelve cities and six countries, plans to inaugurate this new line of business next summer. To that end, the chain is currently analysing different projects and studying operations in the Balearic Islands, Canary Islands, Cataluña, Costa del Sol and Riviera Maya (México).

“We have taken this decision after listening to requests from our customers, who have been asking us for a long time now to take our philosophy and creativity to beach destinations”, explained Sarasola.

The Director said that the group currently has around fifteen projects on the table at various phases of analysis to determine whether they fit with its standards. “The company is being refinanced. This step forms part of our strategy to grow through turnkey projects”, he added.

The chain signed a €54 million refinancing agreement with Citigroup at the end of last year. Half of that figure will be used to pay off debt and the remainder will be used to finance growth.

The Chairman of Room Mate considers that this move is an important step in the company’s plans: “We want to take the essence of Room Mate to exclusive vacation destinations, specifically: excellent locations, superb design…and innovative concepts”.

In this way, the group’s new beach front destinations will include a wide range of leisure facilities, bars, restaurants, beach clubs and terraces, said Sarasola. “In some locations, we will opt for all inclusive formats, in others we will place the emphasis on the music or on the leisure facilities”, he said.

According to the company’s forecasts, Room Mate will close 2016 will operating revenues of €72 million, which represents an increase of 36% with respect to 2015 (€52.9 million). In the first eight months of this year alone, the hotel chain recorded revenues of €44 million.

Room Mate’s properties will close the year with an occupancy rate of more than 87%, whislt the RevPar (revenues per available room) will amount to €133.42, up by 14% compared to last year.

Room Mate Hotels has more than 1,500 rooms in 23 hotels and plans to open another eight establishments over the next few months.

Sarasola said that the chain has achieved record results in all of its destinations this summer, with the exception of Istanbul, which has suffered as a result of the terrorist attacks. “We are not planning to abandon the destination. We are not going to allow terrorism to change our plans”, he said.


In Spain, the Director encourages the Public Administrations to help the sector to renovate the hotel stock…to position Spain as the “Florida of Europe”. He also acknowledged that the lack of Government “is not good for the industry”.

The Executive recently strengthened his commitment to Room Mate by buying an additional 20% stake in the hotel chain that he founded more than ten years ago; he now controls 70% of the share capital. The remaining 30% is held by Sandra Ortega Mera, through the company Rosp Corunna.

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Three Large Funds Offer €2,800M For Santander’s HQ

12 February 2016 – Expansion

The tortuous liquidation process of Marme Inversiones, the company owner of the Ciudad Financiera of Banco Santander, is on the verge of culminating the transfer of this property complex to a group of international investors for about 2,800 million euros. This is the amount of the tender submitted by the funds Global Asset Capital (GAC), AGC Equity Partners and Cruz Capital to the Madrid Court responsible for the supervision of Marme insolvency proceedings, the company that acquired Santander‘s headquarters in Boadilla del Monte (Madrid ) in 2008 for 1,900 million. Unable to meet the payment of the interests of the debt incurred in this transaction, Marme went to bankruptcy in 2014, and last year its receivers decided upon the company liquidation and the sale of its only asset, which is the office complex of Santander.

According to sources familiar with the process, during the auction, a tender was submitted by Aabar, Abu Dhabi sovereign fund, associated with the British-Iranian investor Robert Tchenguiz. There was also a purchase proposal by Azora Capital, a Spanish investment company managed by Hispania Activos Inmobiliarios.
 But these tenders were below the price raised by GAC, AGC and Cruz, an alliance that has beaten all the forecasts when approaching 3,000 million euros, 40% more than the market expectations.

GAC is a California fund, which has taken the lead of the consortium in the negotiations. AGC Equity Partners is an Arab investors vehicle, which owns Citigroup headquarters in London among other real property assets. Cruz Capital is a New York hedge fund (high-risk investments fund ). These companies also have the support of Glenn Maud, one of the original shareholders of Marme Investments, with 50% of the capital. The British investor, together with the Irish Derek Quinlan, acquired the Ciudad Financiera in 2008, thanks to a 1,850 million euros loan, led by the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS). 
Barely two years after the purchase, Marme began having trouble paying off the debt. The accrued interests have made the current liabilities of the company rise to 2,700 million. The money the consortium intends to pay  in order to acquire the assets of Marme would allow the return of 100% of the debt to the creditors of the company, should the judge approve the transaction. RBS transferred all its loans, which are mostly in the hands of funds. GAC, Aabar and Tchenguiz are among the creditors who bought pieces of loans. The only banks of the original loan that maintain their position are CaixaBank and ING.

Santander pays an annual income of about 80 million for its headquarters. Although it has the first refusal right to match the offer and repurchase the Ciudad Financiera, it is not expected to exercise it.

Original story: Expansion (by Roberto Casado)

Translation: Aura Ree

Axiare Closes Accelerated Placement Ahead Of Its Capital Increase

18 May 2015 – Expansión

The Socimi has just closed an accelerated placement with investors ahead of its capital increase.

The listed real estate investment company (Socimi) Axiare Patrimonio wants to maintain the speed of investment that has enabled it to disburse €460 million since its IPO last summer. To this end, the company has announced a capital increase of €394 million, with the aim of doubling its share capital.

Last week, the Socimi led by Luis López de Herrera Oria launched a brochure containing the details of the transaction, which would involve the issue of around 35.87 million new shares, at a nominal value of ten euros per share, plus a premium of one euro (per share).

The capital increase will have preferential subscription rights. The Socimi’s shareholders include funds such as T. Rowe Price and Taube Hodson, and Citigroup.

Axiare owns assets worth €507.95 million, including office buildings in Madrid and logistics warehouses in Guadalajara (pictured above). During the first quarter of 2015, the Socimi generated revenues of €7.59 million and a profit of €2.32 million.


Ahead of this capital increase, Axiare closed an accelerated placement of the shares of one of its largest shareholders, Perry Capital, on Friday. The objective of this placement was to provide greater liquidity for the company’s stock.

The placement of 3.5 million shares (representing 9.721% of its share capital) was closed in record time (one hour) and with a slight issue premium (€12 per share). Buyers of these shares included institutional investment funds from the US, Britain and Norway, according to sources at the company.

The subscription rights for these shares will begin trading on 20 May, whilst the shares themselves will begin trading on 10 June. On Friday, Axiare’s share price closed down 0.29% on the stock exchange at €11.94 per share.

Original story: Expansión (by R. Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake